What’s next for the vegan-friendly margarine industry?
Three months after its introduction in Australia, the popular margarine brand Semilla Natural Foods is set to be taken off shelves.
The move has led to an outpouring of anger and calls for a boycott.
Semilla, which is owned by the multinational Philip Morris International (PMI), was originally launched in the United Kingdom in 2008 and has since been introduced in more than 100 countries.
“They’ve made a huge, massive mistake with this brand,” Ms Witte told Business Insider Australia.
“If you’re going to be vegan, you’re not going to eat a Semilla margarine.”
“If they had been vegan for a year, it would have been a totally different product.”
Semilla was introduced to Australian consumers in 2007 with a new logo, and it quickly gained traction in the market.
Consumers loved the natural-sounding name and the fact that the brand was free from animal products.
Semina’s product lineup included margarine, butter, coconut oil, and coconut oil substitutes, but the new name also attracted attention due to the use of the word “vegan”.
“It’s not vegan.
It’s not cruelty free,” Ms Vassallo said.
“It doesn’t contain eggs.
Ms Wittles said the change to the brand’s name was “absolutely a slap in the face to a lot of vegan customers”. “
But it’s vegan, and if you are vegan, that’s all that matters.”
Ms Wittles said the change to the brand’s name was “absolutely a slap in the face to a lot of vegan customers”.
“I mean, this is a brand that’s been around for 20 years, and they’ve been doing this to me, so I think they are being very, very insensitive,” Ms Bhattacharya said.
Ms Witten’s brand, known as Semilla Margarine, has been removed from the Australian market after the introduction of its new logo.
“Semilla has had a horrible history of putting out vegan products, and this has just been another example,” Ms Gittles told Business Australia.
She said she had contacted PMI and asked them to take the brand off shelves and “make it vegan”.
PMI responded that “this has been our decision” to make the change, but that “the changes we have made are being applied to all of our products”.
Ms Vasallo said she and other vegans who had been supporting Semilla on social media were “heartbroken”.
“They have no reason to do this,” she said.